Scotland qualify for Euro 2020: John Carver on crutches after 'embarrassing' penalty celebrations

Scotland's reward for the win in Belgrade is a place in Group D alongside England, Croatia and Czech Republic - and a mouth-watering Euro 2020 schedule that will see two of their matches - against Croatia and Czech Republic - played in Glasgow

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 10: Coach John Carver  during a Scotland training session at the Oriam, on October 10, 2020, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Image: John Carver said the crutches will be 'in the bin' by Sunday

Scotland assistant coach John Carver is on crutches after celebrating David Marshall's penalty save against Serbia that secured a place in Euro 2020.

Marshall saved Aleksandar Mitrovic's spot-kick after extra-time in the play-off final to send Scotland to their first major men's tournament since 1998 and their first men's European Championship finals since 1996.

Carver says he "knew Mitrovic was going to miss" in the shootout, but the celebrations still caught him by surprise as he came away from Belgrade with a calf injury.

"It was pretty embarrassing if I'm being honest," Carver told Sky Sports News.

"You know what it's like; the adrenaline is flowing, we'd watched the penalties.

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Highlights of the European Championship Qualifying Path C play-off final between Serbia and Scotland

"I knew Mitrovic was going to miss because, sitting next to [Stevie Woods] - the goalkeeping coach - on the plane, and I saw him miss a couple there.

"I knew where he was going to put the ball and when I'd seen 'Marshy' spring up and make a wonderful save - that was it.

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"Within the first five steps, the goalkeeping coach tried to trip me up, Steven Reid jumped on my back, and then the next thing; I was shot.

"It felt like I'd been shot in the calf. I was in so much pain, I've never experienced pain like it.

"It's quite uncomfortable but by the time we get to Sunday, the crutches will be in the bin."

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Ryan Christie was moved to tears after helping Scotland secure their place at Euro 2020 with a penalty shootout win against Serbia

Marshall hoping fans can cheer Scotland on

Scotland's hero Marshall is hoping the Tartan Army will be able to cheer them on in person at the Euros next summer.

Steve Clarke's side will face the Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden Park either side of a trip to Wembley to play England next June at Euro 2020 and after a 22-year absence from major international tournaments, Marshall is keen for the fans to be inside the stadiums.

Marshall said: "Obviously I am a certain age now that I can remember old tournaments. It's been so long and it's just massively emotional.

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David Marshall was the hero for Scotland as he saved Aleksandar Mitrovic's penalty to take them through to Euro 2020

"I am just delighted to be there. It has probably not sunk in. You saw Ryan Christie was in tears and it just shows how much it means to the lads to get there.

"Obviously families are willing us on, fans who can't be here. Hopefully, by next summer everybody can get the chance to go.

"The travelling fans over the years have just been incredible. So I'm so happy [and] just desperate that come tournament time, the Covid situation is cleared up and the fans can go and enjoy it."

As for his dramatic penalty that sent them to the Euro 2020 finals, Marshall did not immediately celebrate in case he was penalised for encroaching.

John McGinn celebrates Scotland's qualification to Euro 2020 1:27
John McGinn says having to watch the likes of England enjoy tournament football makes ending their long wait to reach a major men's competition even sweeter

"Immediately after it was a delay because the ref had said 'don't celebrate if you save because there's a VAR check'," he added.

"I got the decision before the lads jumped on me, thankfully. I just hoped and prayed that he wouldn't order a retake because the lads were on their way. They didn't know it was being checked.

"I did feel it was good. I had a tiny bit of doubt but the referee let us know pretty quickly. But when you have waited 22 years, what's another four or five seconds?"

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Clarke: I had a glint in my eye

Scotland have now gone nine matches unbeaten under Clarke, and the boss couldn't hide his emotions at full-time despite claiming "he was calm" during the shootout.

Clarke told Sky Sports: "It took a bit of time to get people onside, but we've been positive and no one can be more proud than the players on the pitch. One or two of the boys have been in tears and that shows how much it means.

"When David Marshall saved the last penalty, I had a little glint in my eye. I may have a cry when I get to my room later.

Steve Clarke said he may shed a tear back in his hotel room after his side qualified for their first major men's tournament since 1998

"Normally, we fall at the final hurdle or we have the glorious failure, but I thought we were the better team in the game and deserved to be in front. We just couldn't get the second goal to kill them off.

"We got to penalties and we've managed to produce again from the penalty spot. It's a magnificent night for everyone in Scotland.

"We said we'd try to put smiles back on faces and I hope they managed to enjoy the match as we did here in Belgrade. They can smile tomorrow."

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